12/13/2002 12:00AM

Medium Rare won't rest on laurels


Medium Rare, who was claimed for $5,000 in the fall of 1999, has been named horse of the meet at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, and on Sunday will start as the favorite in the closing-day $30,000 Autumn Classic.

Medium Rare has won five stakes since he was claimed, with two of those wins coming this meet when he defended his title in both the $30,000 Taliaferro Memorial and the $50,000 Oklahoma Classics Day Sprint.

In the Autumn Classic, a six-furlong race for statebreds, Medium Rare's chief opponent will be Trickmeister. Roger Engel, who trains Medium Rare for J D R Stables, has given the mount to Cliff Berry.

Berry headed into the Friday card with 102-58 win advantage in the standings over second-leading rider Kevin Cogburn, and on Sunday will pick up his eighth Remington title. Trainer Donnie Von Hemel is chasing his 11th title at the track, and had a 34-29 lead over Joe Offolter through Thursday.

Entries for Jackpot close Wednesday

Delta Downs in Vinton, La., will draw entries Wednesday for its richest race ever, the $500,000 Delta Jackpot. The one-mile race for 2-year-olds is to be run next Saturday, and is scheduled to go as the ninth race on the card, with an approximate post time of 10:05 p.m. Central.

The field for the Jackpot is just starting to take shape, and among the horses officials said are possible for the race is Cherokee's Boy, third to Toccet in the Grade 3 Laurel Futurity. Considered probable are Comic Truth and Mr. Decatur, one-two in the local prep, and Shawklit Man, Worker Man, and Whippee.

The $250,000 Delta Princess, a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, will be run Friday.

Guillory walking with crutches

Jockey David Guillory, who suffered career-ending injuries in a spill in August, is making progress with his health, and has spent some recent mornings on the Louisiana Downs backstretch supervising his wife's tack shop. The track finished its meet last month, but continues to operate as a training center.

"Everything's going good," said Guillory. "I'm walking on crutches. I'm out of the wheelchair more - I don't use it nearly as much as I used to."

Guillory attends therapy three times a week and hopes to have normal use of his arms and legs in a year. Since he underwent surgery two months ago to remove a piece of vertebrae that was pressuring his nerves, he has been getting gradual feeling back in his limbs.

"The slowest thing is my hands," said Guillory. "They say with nerve damage, [feeling comes back] an inch a month."

Guillory, who was 34 wins away from career victory 2,500 when he was injured, plans to work at his wife's tack shop full-time when the Louisiana Downs meet opens in June.

* Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City closed out its near year-long mixed meet for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses on Sunday. The track raced mostly Thursday through Sunday, and will open its 2003 race meet Feb. 1.

* Kerry Smith has been named director of casino operations for Evangeline Downs, the Lafayette, La., track that plans to install slot machines. Smith has overseen slots operations for the Trump Organization and Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

* Lone Star, site of the Fasig-Tipton Texas mixed sale on Sunday, will close its stable area for the year on Tuesday. The track plans to construct three new barns during the downtime, and will reopen its backstretch on March 17. Racing returns on April 3.

* Races from Delta Downs can now be seen free of charge on the track's website, www.deltadowns.com. The service is co-sponsored by RaceReplays.com.